Does the VAC Avatar bonk when you drive it hard?

I recommended the Avatar to a friend as an alternative to his CJ PV10/55 combo.He said it was an atractive amp in more way's than one but heard wehn you drive it hard (and occasionally he might) that it sounds lousy after say 11 o'clock.Neither of us can fine the Stereophile review and were wondering if anybody out there might throw some light on this.Thanks.
Well this is a 60W amp if I remember correctly. What you are referring to is called 'clipping'. It happens in tubes and SS when the amp runs out of power and the sine wave is cut short, creating wonky sound in tubes and a cracking noise in SS. Have you compared the Rogue Magnum Tempest with the Avatar? I'd be very interested to know how they compare.
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There are 11 reviews of the Avatar, as of today.

i think what chazz means is that the vac avatar seems reach its max volume very quickly, hence 11 o-clock. the vac actually has more wpc than the cj mv55; 60 vs. 45, but it can play way past 11 o-clock. if anyone knows, i'd like to know, too.

Just so I don't run into this with anybody else I do know what clipping is I was just being cute with the term "bonk".No the issue was a number of reviws in Stereophile where either this amp or a comparative one like the VTL says that regardless of wpc the Avatar seems to run out of gas before the onset of clipping.It got a great review (intially in class A demoted next buyers guide to B)but the reviewer said the VTL was able to go loud,louder,loudest whereas before the the VAC went to Loudest it just couldn't get there.Whether this is subjective 'Phile nonsense or can be explained through difference in circut design (say with one having greater headroom) or tube difference well I dunno.This is what i was hoping somebody might way in on.
Depending on the gain of the preamp and how the attenuator ( volume control ) is designed, some amps may max out at as little as 9 or 10 o'clock ( tube pre driving ss amp ), 1 o'clock ( ss pre driving ss amp ) or not at all ( passive line section into any amp ). As such, i would not worry about where the volume control is set at, just so long as it can play as loud as you like and it is still clean and well defined.

I think Chazzbo is asking if the amp stays "cohesive" and maintains its' performance as volume is increased. Some amps sound good until they are pushed above a specific threshold. This does not necessarily mean that they are clipping, only that they sound best within a limited power range. I have heard amps that lost their coherence, stability, soundstage, definition, etc... as volume was increased. As such, only those that are pretty familiar with the amp can answer that question. Sean
Funny, I've heard what Chazzbo is talking about, but on VAC's 140 watt monoblocks with Avalon Eidelons. Maybe it's a speaker load issue?
I encourage your friend to call Kevin Hayes, VAC's president and uber tech. He's very accessible and helpful. You can find his reach info at